PaintTool SAI

Nimble digital painting that offers an expansive and professionally-focused toolkit in a compact platform


58 Votes

Easy Paint Tool SAI is a relatively simple raster graphics editor that works like a traditional paint tool. It's designed especially for those who want to draw manga and anime-style graphics using a pen tablet or another similar tool. It supports a wide array of Windows-based PCs, meaning that it should work equally well with almost any kind of supported device. That's good news for those who want to produce professional-quality comic book illustrations with the equipment that they currently have.

Users are given a drawing canvas that can be stretched out among multiple documents if necessary. This canvas can be rotated and zoomed using either the on-screen sliders or a series of hotkeys. Since users are free to configure their own hotkeys, Easy Paint Tool SAI should be flexible enough to work with special control pads and other artist peripherals. A number of raster drawing features are built into the software, which include a simulated airbrush as well as a watercolor tool and a traditional pen.

The app is capable of emulating the look and feel of a real-world marker, which should be particularly useful for manga artists who want to get the same look that they see in printed tankoban books. In fact, Easy Paint Tool SAI is capable of producing screen tones that resemble those used by several popular mangaka. This should help to increase the app's appeal with otaku who want to try their hand at reproducing their favorite action-packed illustrations or who want to start drawing a daily web comic.

Since the app exports images in a number of popular formats, this shouldn't be difficult to do. While the software does come with a native .SAI file format, those who plan on publishing images online can export it in the .PSD format for further editing or .BMP to prep it for further compression. That being said, Easy Paint Tool SAI is as simple as the name suggests so any other edits would have to be done with a more sophisticated graphics package. It doesn't support adjustments besides brightness, hue, saturation and contrast. However, this shouldn't really be looked at as a drawback so much as a way of ensuring that the software never gets more complicated than it needs to be.

A few advanced features do come bundled with the software, however. Manga artists can include their own linework layers if they wish, which can help to reduce the amount of manually drawn linework they need to put into an image. Curve and pressure tools are there as well, so artists are free to create great looking circles and spheres without having to invest a great deal of time in doing so. While it strays away from automation, SAI certainly does make comic art easier to produce.


  • Supports English & Japanese text
  • Lightweight
  • Works with raster graphics
  • Opens multiple documents simultaneously


  • Few adjustment controls
  • Isn't focused on image editing
HQ Location
Tokyo, Japan
LinkedIn® Page (1 employee)
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